Thank you so much for the love and support you give me. I love serving the Lord here in the state of Washington! I know that the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people here to accept the restored gospel and be baptized. Sometimes we get worried that people will think we are pushy or intolerant of others for saying that being baptized in this church is the only way to live in God's presence, but I know that it's true. It also doesn't really matter what other people think, but it only matters what God thinks. I know, and God knows that the only way to be saved in the Kingdom of God is to be baptized by one who holds the proper authority. Christ said in John 3:5, "Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." I'm so grateful that I was able to be baptized by priesthood authority. It can be hard to remain focused on the missionary purpose, when all the world around us is in so much darkness, but I know that it can be done. You just have to help people recognize that they need to have faith in Christ, repent of their sins, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.
This week, we had an African family come to church. (I'm just going to have to guess the spelling of their names). Their last name is “T” (silent h). They are from South Sudan. We have the father, “G”, the mother “N”, and their four sons “T”, “N”, “B”, and “L”. “G”'s mother was there as well, but I forget her name. Unfortunately she doesn't speak any English. Everyone else does. We met the “T” family last week, but this time they stayed for sacrament meeting. I was able to sit next to “G” in sacrament meeting. He and his family are coming to the Elder's quorum barbecue this Saturday. This is the first time in my mission where I've been able to teach entire families. I can see the value in doing so. First, you are able to help more of God's children enter the waters of baptism. Second, they could eventually be sealed for eternity in the temple. Third, they can help strengthen one another in their resolve to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about it. One person learning the gospel by him or herself, versus a family of eight or nine learning the gospel together. I know that the family is ordained of God. It is the whole reason why God created the Earth in the first place. I'm so grateful for you and the knowledge that we can be together forever.
We'll probably have another lesson with the “H” family this week. We haven't been able to see them in a long time. I have the feeling they are the hot/cold type of investigators. One week, they're super enthusiastic, and in a couple of weeks it dies down. It's alright. We have a lesson with Brother “S” tonight. Sister “P” invited him over to dinner on Sunday night as well. It's so cool to see members that reach out to our investigators. That's the epitome of missionary work- to reach out to strangers and welcome them into your heart and love them. Sister “P” is the BEST member missionary I've come across. When she doesn't know someone at church, she introduces herself. She always looks for opportunities to share the Book of Mormon and doesn't get discouraged when people don't accept it. The other day, she struck up a conversation with a gas station attendant and related his tattoo to a scripture she read in the New Testament. That speaks volumes. She also told us that every day she goes to bed early and gets up early so she can pray, ponder, meditate, and study the scriptures. That is what we should be doing every day. That is how you effectively share the gospel. Most people wait for missionary opportunities to fall in their lap, but Sister “P” prays for them and goes out of her way to find them.
We also visited a less active sister in the ward and gave her a blessing. I offered the blessing and I felt the spirit so strongly. I knew at that moment that God was working through me to bless her life. When men exercise the priesthood righteously, they can act in the name of God. I knew that I wasn't speaking, but the Lord was speaking through me. I thought about how I could let God's power work through me in other aspects of missionary work. In the blessing, the Lord promised this sister great blessings through daily scripture study and prayer. Afterward, I testified that the priesthood is a real power, and God uses it to bless the lives of all His children. I testified that I wasn't speaking at all, but it was the Lord speaking through me.
I hope all of you are doing well and you have a great week!